Stolen Cars Are Becoming Little More Than A Crushed Can

Wednesday, November 28th 2007, 10:02 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa police have issued a warning about disabled cars being stolen before a wrecker can get there to tow them. News On 6’s Lori Fullbright reports the auto theft squad recently issued a BOLO, which stands for "be on the look-out" for trucks with slings hauling cars along Interstate 244. That's because there's been an increase in the number of cars reported stolen, that were left on I-244, even a few hours.

The thieves are taking them to car crushers to sell them for scrap metal.

Emily Dunn's 1989 Mustang convertible had a flat tire last Tuesday when she and her daughter were on their way home from the grocery store, on I-244. She went back the next day to leave a key for the wrecker service and the car was gone.

"It makes me sad that people work hard for things and somebody comes along and takes it, because they can," said Emily Dunn.

The car was paid off and she only carried liability insurance. Now, she must borrow a friend's car to get to work and run errands. Dunn is not alone. Police have seen an increase in the number of cars stolen on I-244.

The thieves want cars 10-years-old or older, because state law says you don't have to have a title to sell them, just a hand-written bill of sale will do.

"That's a lot of money to lose and for somebody to take it and have the law, say its okay," said Emily Dunn.

Officers suspect the cars are being hauled to Turley and taken to a crusher. The price of scrap metal has tripled in the past five years so a 2,000 pound car will get you $130.

Willie Asher runs Tulsa Crushers, a family business. Asher works with police and does all he can to make sure cars he buys are legitimately owned.

"We can only do what we can do. We try to trust ya, believe ya when you come in to sell us a car and hopefully, you're telling us the truth. Like I said, we take your ID and if anything comes back on it, they're gonna have ya red-handed," said Willie Asher.

Once the fluids are drained, they're sold and recycled. Then, the flattened cars are sold to Yaffe metals where they're shredded and sent to Sheffield steel, where they're melted down and re-created as fence posts, rebar and the like.

Police say these thieves are not only plucking cars off the side of the highway. They're taking them from parking lots, even yards. They warn business owners to beware of people offering to move vehicles from lots that have been there awhile.

Businesses have a right to have vehicles towed, but not to give them away. If your car breaks down, especially on I-244, make sure you deal with it as soon as possible.

Watch the video: Cars Being Sold As Scrap